Services in Urho Kekkonen National Park

Customer Service and Guidance

  • Saariselkä Customer Service Kiehinen
    • On the Finnmark Trail -exhibition
    • Information on Urho Kekkonen National Park, hiking, wilderness huts, river crossings, and assistance in planning a hiking route
    • Information on hiking possibilities in surrounding areas
    • Reservations and keys for rental huts, in the Hammastunturi Wilderness Area
    • Keys for wilderness huts in Urho Kekkonen National Park
    • Sale of fishing and snowmobile permits
    • Reservations for Wild North rental cabins.
    • Maps, books about nature and hiking, posters, postcards, small products for hiking, and products about Urho Kekkonen National Park (t-shirts, caps and pins)
    • Information and brochures on Metsähallitus products and services

Saariselkä Customer Service Kiehinen.  Photo: Ninni Raasakka, Metsähallitus

  • Tankavaara Visitor Centre
    • Exhibitions on Urho Kekkonen National Park and the Birds of Prey and also changing exhibitions.
    • Information on hiking
    • National Park wilderness hut reservations and keys
    • An auditorium, which seats 104 people, for slide-shows. It can also be rented for conference use.
    • Sale of fishing and snow mobile track permits.
    • Maps, books about nature and hiking, posters, postcards, small products for hiking, and products about Urho Kekkonen National Park (t-shirts, caps and pins)
    • Information and brochures on Metsähallitus products and services

Tankavaara Visitor Centre. Photo: Aini Magga, Metsähallitus

  • Savukoski Visitor Centre Korvatunturi
    • Information about the products and services of Metsähallitus
    • Information about the nature in the Urho Kekkonen National Park and its surrounding areas and hiking and camping in the area
    • Services of the Tourist Information Office of Savukoski Municipality
    • Information about local tourist businesses and their services
    • Reception and deposit of keys for reserved cabins in the Urho Kekkonen National Park
    • Small shop with hiking and camping essentials (maps, gear, books, salves)
    • Guided tours of the Wilderness Exhibition for groups by prior agreement
    • Fishing permits
    • Free Internet and wireless access

Savukoski Visitor Centre Korvatunturi. Photo: Mari Kotajärvi, Metsähallitus

Services Offered by Enterprises and Other Organisations in the National Park

Meals, Where to Buy and Prepare

Shops

  • Hikers can buy food supplies in shops, petrol stations and tourist centres in Saariselkä (www.saariselka.fi), Savukoski (travel.savukoski.fi), Vuotso and Tulppio.

Campfire Sites, Lean-to Shelters, Wilderness Huts, Cooking Shelters and Lapp Pole Tents

In the recreational and nature turism zone lighting fires is only permitted at specially designated campfire sites. In the remote zone (except Paratiisikuru, Lumikuru and Raja-Jooseppi homestead and in the skolt fields) you are free to light fires using twigs and branches found on the ground. The lean-to shelters and Lapp pole tents have a saw and an axe in their woodsheds.

Rumakuru. Photo: Aini Magga

  • The national park area contains
    • 7 Day trip huts
    • 38 Open and reservable wilderness huts, open and reservable turf huts and rental hut
    • 27 Lean-to shelters
    • 4 Cooking shelters
    • 27 Lapp pole tents
    • About 107 campfire sites
  • The locations of the structures are marked on the outdoor maps. The structures can also be found on the excursionmap.fi web-page.
  • During forest fire warnings open campfires are prohibited everywhere, including marked campfire sites and the fire places of open lean-to huts.
    • This prohibition does not apply to cooking shelters or other fireplaces with a flue.
    • During the driest period it is also recommended that fires should not be lighted even in the fireplaces of log tepees and huts. It is always permitted to use camping cookers. Check the day's weather and warnings (en.ilmatieteenlaitos.fi).

Bridges

Does the River Suomujoki flood, and how can the river be crossed?

Usually the River Suomujoki experiences spring flooding up till June, and autumn floods can begin as early as in August. There are three bridges across the river at Porttikoski, Kotaköngäs and close to the mouth of the River Aitaoja.

Aittajärvi, Suomujoki. When wading across the river one must take every precaution: unlatch your backpack's hip-belt and loosen your shoulder straps. Photo: Ninni Raasakka, Metsähallitus

Approximately 300 metres from Lake Aittajärvi, downstream of the River Suomujoki, there is a wading cable. When water at the wading spot is at normal height, it is up to one's knee and the current moderately swift. There are also a few wading spots down stream from Aittajärvi. For example, at Snellmaninmaja cabin there is a spot where, during normal water, one can get across.

Drinking Water

  • The water in the area's ponds, streams and rivers should usually be safe to drink, but the water systems have not been tested. It is therefore advisable to boil water before drinking it.
  • Visitors may take water from Visitor Centres and Customer Service Points with them on their hike.

Waste Management

  • The Saariselkä - Kiilopää area is a Hiking without Littering -zone. Waste-bins have been removed from the Saariselkä day trip trails. Measures should be taken in advance to avoid taking unnecessary waste into the area. Biodegradable waste should be placed in a toilet or composter, and small amounts of clean paper and cardboard can be used as kindling in a campfire.

  • Daytrip hiking areas' huts toilets at Rumakuru, old Rumakuru, Luulampi and Rautulampi is only for "poop and pee". Do not put any biowaste to these toilets.

  • Take all other waste out of the area. There are recycling points at the beginning and end of each hiking trail.

  • Metsähallitus rangers manage and maintain the National Park's wilderness huts. The basic clean-up and waste management at each wilderness hut is the responsibility of hikers. Compost waste must be put into the huts own composter and burnable waste can be burnt in the hut's iron stove. Hikers must take their all other waste out the park area.

  • More information on waste management can be found at Tankavaara Visitor Centre, at Saariselkä Customer Service Kiehinen and on our Hiking without littering page.

Toilets

  • All wilderness huts and lean-to shelters have dry toilets. Toilets at Rumakuru, old Rumakuru, Luulampi and Rautulampi, has a toilets which empties with suction to tanks, so do not put any biowaste to these toilets.

Overnight Stays

Camping

  • In the recreational and nature turism zone camping is permitted only at the campfire sites and on the designated tent areas near the huts.
  • In the remote zone you can freely choose a camping location - except for the areas of Paratiisikuru, Lumikuru and the surroundings of ancient structures, where camping is forbidden. There are designated campsites near the lean-tos and on the shore of Lake Luirojärvi. 
  • Local inhabitants have certain special privileges in the national park.

Lean-to Shelters and Lapp Pole Tents

Most of the national park's lean-to shelters and Lapp Pole Tents are located along the Suomujoki, Luttojoki and Nuorttijoki rivers and are suitable for overnight stays mainly in the summer and autumn. All of the lean-to shelters and Lapp pole tents have woodsheds and dry toilets.

Photo: Ninni Raasakka, Metsähallitus

  • In the recreational and nature tourism zone there are 27 lean-to huts and log tepees.
  • The locations of the structures are marked on outdoor maps. The structures can also be found on the excursionmap.fi service.

Open and Reservable Wilderness Huts and Open and Reservable Turf Huts

Hikers in Urho Kekkonen National Park can choose from a total of 38 overnight huts and turf huts. The oldest huts are from the 1930s but you can still find marks from the turn of the 19th century on the logs of Vanha Rumakuru Day-Trip Hut. The newest huts in the park were built over 20 years ago. Over the years the huts have been renovated but they still give you a sense of the park's old hiking history.

You can rest, spend the night, cook food and dry your gear in the huts and turf huts. Open wilderness huts can be used freely, but reservable huts and turf huts need to be reserved in advance. Each hut's facilities are described separately.

  • You can stay a maximum of two consecutive nights in the open wilderness huts, in the open turf huts, in the reservable huts and in the reservable turf huts.
  • You can stay a maximum of seven consecutive nights in the reservable huts and in the reservable turf huts during 1.10.-28.2. and in May.

Rental Huts

Saunas

  • There are open saunas in the national park which are with a small payment for all to use. Please take concern the other users of saunas.
    • ​Payment for sauna per person is 7 euros and for children 4 euros (under 7 years) or a member of a min. 10 persons group. Payment within a making a reservation to huts, or at a visitor center Tankavaara, Saariselkä, Ivalo or Savukoski. If you have a finnish telephone subscription, one can pay also by calling number 06060 56 1519 (6,93 euros+mcp) adult or 06060 56 1520 for a child or group member (4,01 euros +mobilecallpayment). Prices include 24% vat.
      • There are saunas at Luirojärvi, Anterinmukka, Tahvontupa and Karhuoja.
      • There is a sauna at Tikkasen Vieriharju Rental Hut which is meant only for the occupants of the hut.
      • Free saunas without any payment are: Vieriharju and Härkävaara 

Anterinmukka, sauna. Photo: Allan Niva, Metsähallitus

Services for the Disabled

  • Tankavaara Visitor Centre has a wheelchair ramp. The Centre's exhibition space is split onto two floors. The upstairs portion is accessible by wheelchair through the Visitor Centre's back door. The building has a toilet for the disabled. A 1-kilometre-long gravelled nature trail (Urpiaislenkki trail), which begins on the Visitor Centre's grounds, is accessible by wheelchair if assisted.
  • Savukoski Visitor Centre Korvatunturi has a wheelchair ramp. The Centre's exhibition space is on one floor and is accessible by wheelchair. The building has a toilet for the disabled.
  • Saariselkä Customer Service Kiehinen has a wheelchair ramp at its entrance. The customer service area, inside the building, is accessible by wheelchair. The building has a toilet for the disabled.

Lodging, Equipment Rental and Other Services in the Surrounding Area

More information on websites

Destination Brochure

Pdf-file 4.4 MB (julkaisut.metsa.fi)

Rules for Using Wilderness Huts

Read how to use wilderness huts